Noted entrepreneur Ranjit Barthakur has taken over as the chairman of Mission Smile for a tenure of five years.
He has succeeded Deepak Atal, who succumbed to Covid19 infection.
Barthakur is also the co-chairman of Smile Asia, a cleft initiative with a global reach.
Mission Smile, earlier known as Operation Smile India, is a medical charitable trust dedicated to providing free life-changing cleft care and surgery for children and young adults born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities in India.
“Mission Smile has created a unique public-private partnership with the Assam government and National Health Mission, Tata Trusts towards creating ‘Cleft Free’ Assam & North East India,” said a press statement.
Assam is very close to becoming the first ‘Cleft Free’ state in India, it said.
Mission Smile, in its Guwahati Comprehensive Cleft Care Centre at the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital, has contributed over 20,000 cleft surgeries in the last 10 years, the statement said.
Barthakur is an entrepreneur with a special interest in improving health, education and preserving culture and environment across the Eastern Himalayas.
He is the founder and president of the Balipara Foundation, an organization focused on Eastern Himalayas.
He has worked towards achieving ecological neutrality and building knowledge on the region, the statement said.
Ranjit Barthakur remained as an advisor to the Assam chief minister from 2002 to 2015 for strategy, action planning, project formulation, investment initiation and image building exercise.
He is the chief architect of the vision behind NaturenomicsTM, which has been developed in collaboration with Globally Managed Services (GMS).
Through NaturenomicsTM, Ranjit Barthakur and his team at the Balipara Foundation have developed Rural Futures, a vision for enhancing community-based conservation and social mobility through natural capital regeneration, the statement added.
He also served as the chairman of an Indian Premier League (IPL) team.